Study Says Sophisticated, More Imaginative Toys Increase Engagement
In a new study by researchers at the University of Toledo, toddlers who were given fewer toys played more creatively and were more engaged in their play than those who had many toys available. This creates opportunities for toy stores to promote their most creative and progressive toys – and usually their most expensive options – to parents in the know.
Researchers tested the hypothesis that an environment with fewer toys will lead to higher quality of play for toddlers. With fewer toys, participants had fewer incidences of toy play, longer durations of toy play, and played with toys in a greater variety of ways.
Toy shops can market these findings to inform Parents of Toddlers while emphasizing their most cerebral offerings. The latest AudienceSCAN research revealed 40% of Parents of Newborns/Toddlers took action after seeing social network advertising in the past month.
This suggests that when provided with fewer toys in the environment, toddlers engage in longer periods of play with a single toy, allowing better focus to explore and play more creatively. This can be offered as a recommendation in many natural environments to support children’s development and promote healthy play.
Scientists concluded that having fewer toys improved children’s creativity, imagination, and skill development. Experts said that keeping more toys in storage helps to keep children focused.
Children's supply retailers and toy stores can even visualize this recommendation in advertising. Showing Parents of Newborns/Toddlers ideas for toy storage and rotation of toys can be helpful and motivate purchasing. The most recent AudienceSCAN survey showed Parents of Newborns/Toddlers are 38% more likely than average Americans to take action after watching pre-roll video ads (the video that plays before the video you want to watch).
Writing in the study, its authors said: ‘When provided with fewer toys in the environment, toddlers engage in longer periods of play with a single toy, allowing better focus to explore and play more creatively."
"One recommendation may be to opt for having fewer toys available in a play environment for any one play session. When there is an abundance of toys, small collections can be rotated into play while the majority is stored away, providing opportunities for novelty without creating the distraction posed by having too many toys available."